R.C. Owens, a longtime 49ers front office man and eight-year NFL wide receiver whose impressive leaping ability earned him the nickname ''Alley Oop'' and helped popularize the phrase, has died. He was 78.
The Niners, his team for the first of his five NFL seasons, announced Owens' death Monday. The team said he died Sunday and had been living in Manteca, about 75 miles east of San Francisco.
The 6-foot-3 Owens, a college basketball star at the College of Idaho, also played two seasons for the Baltimore Colts and his final year with the New York Giants in 1964. He had 206 career receptions for 3,285 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also ran for a score on his lone carry.
Owens was born on Nov. 12, 1933, in Shreveport, La.